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Archive of Bird Lives! The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History Celebrates the Centennial of Charles Parker, Jr.


2020 marks 100 years from the birth of saxophonist and composer Charles Parker, Jr. In celebration of this centennial, the Charles H. Wright Museum is honoring Parker's impact and achievements from August-October 2020 through reflections, discussions, and more.


Detroit-based artists will be showcased in a 30-minute autobiographical video that highlights their early introduction to their art forms, key collaborators, rare photographs, artistic inserts, and statements about their key influencers, including the impact “Bird” has on their artistic vision and expression. Features include:

  • Ralph Armstrong, world-class bassist


  • Rafael Leafar, Kresge Fellow, multi-instrumentalist & Alex White, drummer


  • Wendell Harrison, Eminent Kresge Artist, saxophonist


  • Bill Harris and Pamela Wise Ensemble 


  • Larry Smith and James Carter, world-class saxophonist and flutist


  • Herb Boyd, author and journalist, and Barbara Barefield, jazz photographer


  • Robert Hurst, 7x Grammy Award and 4x Emmy Award-winning, bassist, composer, and university instructor

2020 CONCERT OF COLORS | Leafar Village presents Bird Lives!

A Musical Celebration of the Centennial of Charles Parker, Jr. - Kresge Fellow and multi-instrumentalist Rafael Leafar will be joined by Ian Finkelstein, keys and bass; Alex White, drums; Djallo Djakate, drums; Marquis Johnson, drums; Sterling Toles, DJ turntable; & Deshawn Reid, MC/Spoken Word in this special musical tribute.

This program will also include a special tribute to radio personality Ed Love of WDET, and formerly of WJZZ and WCHD. (October 7th -10th, virtual)

Visit: for the full line-up.